By SARAH PARKER | County Line Editor
Wilton resident Becky Hahn no longer is allowed to enter the village hall “to avoid further conflict,” according to a recent letter Tomah attorney Penny Precour sent to Hahn on behalf of the village board.
Furthermore, Hahn may not have contact with Wilton clerk/treasurer Leigha Barton in person or by telephone, according to the letter. Instead, Hahn must do village business by U.S. mail or email, or she may use the drop box outside the village office, according to the letter. It’s unclear whether the board will allow Hahn to attend village board meetings.
Though the letter alleges that Hahn has engaged in “inappropriate contact and unacceptable behavior,” it does not cite specific examples of conduct that led to the ban. The letter states that “such contact and behavior has been referred to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation to determine what, if any, action is warranted.”
As of Wednesday, no charges had been filed against Hahn, and the village does not have a restraining order against her.
In recent weeks, Hahn has attempted to file recall papers with Barton, who has refused to accept them, according to Hahn. (The effort would be directed at board members Eli Yoder and Sid Thayer, who have served for at least one year and are thus eligible for recall.) The letter from Precour does not make mention of those incidents.
Generally speaking, governmental entities do have the right to protect their employees and ensure safety at their offices. But at this stage, because the board has not made public the concrete details of Hahn’s behavior, the basis of its decision is unclear.
Additionally, it appears the village board did not at any point make a motion to prohibit Hahn from entering the village office, as the matter does not appear in minutes from recent months.
Via email, the County Line invited board president Jamie Evans and board member Eli Yoder to offer further comments on the matter, but they hadn’t offered any replies as of press time. Yoder serves as the board’s liaison to its attorneys.
Hahn served as Wilton Village Board president from April to August 2021, when she resigned. The board appointed Tim Welch to take her place, and he also resigned in July 2022, with Jamie Evans taking his place by board appointment.
The president’s position will be on the ballot in the April 2023 election.
Though the board has not accepted a resignation from Barton, it has posted advertisements seeking candidates for the clerk/treasurer position.